It was one of the great achievements in the history of the American charts of the 1960s. Almost as celebrated as The Beatles‘achievement of 1964, when they had the set of the top five of the Billboard Hot 100, is the renowned total of 12 # 1 US singles tagged with the supreme in less than five and a half years. On the charts of December 27, 1969, the Motown trio scored the last of them.
It was the end of a decade, the end of that streak and the end of an era, like Diana ross say goodbye to the group with ‘One day we will be together’ – which, unbeknownst to the public at the time, didn’t even feature the other Supremes.
The group peaked in the pop survey in the summer of 1964 with “Where Did Our Love Go”, and from that point on they topped the charts with a consistency that has not been matched. during the decade only by the Beatles. There were other No.1s that year with “Baby Love” and “Come see me”; three more in 1965, two in 1966, two in 1967 and one in 1968.
By the end of 1969, Ross and Motown were making plans for his solo career. His last performance with the group would follow in the New Year. But “Someday We’ll Be Together”, written by Johnny Bristol with Jackey Beavers and Harvey Fuqua eight years earlier, was singled out as a sufficiently moving and memorable composition to be a final single from the already iconic trio.
The song was first recorded by Bristol and Beavers as Johnny and Jackey, and released, unsuccessfully, on Fuqua’s Tri-Phi label in 1961. As the decade drew to a close, as Berry Gordy was making his plans for Ross’s solo fame, he looked at the cover as his potential debut in its own right. Bristol, in charge of production responsibilities, went to the studio to cut it with her.
Ultimately, Gordy decided that Bristol’s own voice, which he recorded alongside Diana to encourage his performance, should be left on the trail. Johnny had previously recorded backing vocals for her by Maxine and Julia Waters, and the song became the last single from Diana Ross and the Supremes, as they had been credited since 1967 – though Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong weren’t in it. all . A momentous era ended in a bittersweet way.
“Someday We’ll Be Together” is on the original Diana Ross & the Supremes album, The best of the best, which can be purchased here.
Follow the Motown Love Songs playlist.